BEOWULF: Odds Bodkin Adult Zoom Storytelling Coming Feb. 7

Her web handle is amilolomy and in her five-star review at my web store of Beowulf: The Only One, she writes, “I always find myself crying by the end of it.”

As a storyteller, that’s music to my ears. That means that I’ve found the emotional lightning in the tale. It means that the character I’ve built—Beowulf—with his voice and his lines, his pauses, his worried inner thoughts, is worth crying over when he dies. “Fate often saves an undoomed man if his courage holds” he says when he’s in danger. That line comes straight from the thousand year old text. Other lines come from me, since I’m not reciting the story. No, this is my re-imagined version of a tale about a singular hero. Fictionalized and brought to life for modern listeners with character voices and a full score on 12-string guitar.

Join me on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 5 pm EST on Zoom for a live performance of BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE. Sponsored by Grendel’s Den. Tickets are $25.

Who knows, maybe you’ll cry at the end, too.

Of Oaks and Thunder

The Druids of ancient Europe were the “Oak Seers.” Dur means oak. Wythe means seer. Put together you get Durwythe, or Druid. Dur is an old word for oak, from which we derive our word “door,” since in the old days the strongest doors were of oak. They were, pardon the pun, durable. The Norse god Thor’s name has the same etymological root: dur, or oak, that tree most often struck by lightning. What comes with lightning? Thunder. Hence Thor, the God of Thunder.

His name has–sorry, here comes another pun–endured all this time because wonderful stories are told about him. The most intriguing among them, at least by my lights, is Thor’s Journey to Utgard. It’s the tale of how to prove his strength to his enemies, the Frost Giants, he journeys to their capital city and messes up terribly, or at least so it seems. He fails at every task of strength put before him as the giants guffaw. Loki is along for the journey as well, and he fares no better. These are not the characters you see in Marvel movies or those stories. These are genuine old myths.

As the first long tale in my Zoom performance tomorrow night, Sunday Jan. 10, Thor’s Journey is humorous in places, mostly because he and Loki trade barbs and insult one another at every turn. But still, it’s epic, as is the score on 12-string guitar. Here’s a sample:

 

 

I’ll be introducing Viking mythology as I play Celtic harp, and then I’ll launch into the two long tales with an intermission between them. Lots of characters. Lots of music. Lots of fun. Join the crowd. Folks will be tuning in from all over.

This Zoom event is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

 

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

ODDS BODKIN, storyteller and musician

SUNDAY, JAN.10, 2021 at 5 PM EST on ZOOM

TICKETS: $25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ODIN’S BEST FRIEND IS MISSING

Odin has no friends, really, other than harmless and trusting Kvasir, who wants nothing that Odin possesses. But now, Kvasir has been missing for months and word has come that in the mountains of Jotunheim a giant is bragging that he owns a magical mead. It’s a drink that bestows power and wisdom with one sip.

The problem is, he is claiming it was brewed from the blood of the god Kvasir.

Which means that somebody killed poor Kvasir for his essence. Odin’s great eye can see anywhere he casts his gaze, but he cannot see everywhere at once. Who has done this? To find out and return his friend’s blood to Asgard, Odin goes on a long quest of disguises, shape-changing and implacable revenge.

The Mead of Poetry is one of two long Norse myths I’ll be performing this coming Sunday evening over Zoom. My 12-string guitar will sport fresh, crisp strings and I will be ready with character voices and narration. I’ll create voices for Odin, Thor, Loki, Bauge the Giant, Utgarde Loke, King of the Frost Giants, Gunlod the Singing Giantess and a host of others.

The show begins at 5 pm Eastern Standard Time on Zoom. Grab your $25 ticket and you’ll receive a meeting link, and then a password the day of the show.

I’ll be full screen for the event with great sound. See you there!

–Odds Bodkin

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

Odds Bodkin, Storyteller and Musician

Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021 at 5 pm EST

Tickets: $25

 

This show is sponsored by Grendel’s Den of Cambridge, MA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer. Sharper. Louder.

Before the pandemic, I regaled audiences in person. Seated behind two microphones, I told them my tales through a sound system so people in the back row could hear. People in the front row? How far away were they? If I were onstage, I’d say about six to ten feet.

But now, for better or worse, I’m closer, sharper, and louder, too, because if my audience wants to turn up the volume, that’s easy to do at home.

Yes, for the time being I’m on Zoom for my adult performances. The camera is a mere two feet away. Hoary and curmudgeonish as I am, it still seems to work. As professor Joseph Walsh put it after a recent Zoom show for college kids:

Indeed, several students who had seen Odds perform in the past – and he has fans who come back every year – considered it even better. They loved the fact that they could see his face up close and watch his fingers dance across his guitar and harp.

Up until March of last year, I told my winter series of adult tales at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. We had lots of fun doing it, and not wanting to lose that fun completely, Kari Kuelzer, the owner, and I decided to move our shows to Zoom. She’ll be online to introduce me and help me juggle audience questions afterwards.

For next Sunday she chose ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, which I’ve performed at her club many times. You are invited. Tickets are $25. I hope you join us for some wild and woolly performance art.

ODDS BODKIN

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

Sunday, January 10th at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Zoom

Tickets: $25

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS Zoom Performance on Jan. 10!

Buy your Zoom ticket today and get ready for Odds Bodkin’s Viking myths and lore show coming up on Sunday, Jan. 10 at 5:00 pm EST. Music on Celtic harp and two 12-string guitars adds to Bodkin’s uncanny character voices for giants, dwarfs and gods.

The storyteller is full screen with high-fidelity sound for the performance.

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den.

Tickets $25

Viking Tales and a Myth Makers Workshop in January

Happy New Year!

2021 is around the corner!

Storyteller Odds Bodkin is presenting two Zoom events in January to kick off the New Year. First, on January 10th, ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, an adult storytelling. Then, on Jan. 24th, MYTH MAKERS, his first adult how-to-tell-stories workshop on Zoom.

Check out the links and sign up!

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, the Holidays are Here but the Vikings Are Coming in January!

On Sunday Jan. 10, 2020 at 5 pm EST, Storyteller Odds Bodkin returns to Zoom with his beloved adult show, ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS.

Mark your calendar and enjoy two Norse myths presented with giant voices and music on 12-string guitars. Wit and humor combine with mythic adventure in these riveting works of performance art. An evening’s entertainment.

After the show, chat with the artist. He’ll stay online.

“A consummate storyteller”–The New York Times

 Tickets are $25. Grab yours now for a front row seat!

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA.

Tonight at 5 pm EST on Zoom: Meet Persephone, the Unhappy Wife of Hades

In tonight’s performance of HERCULES IN HELL, Hercules tells his own life story shortly after his death. Where does he do this? In the Underworld, a place he is shocked to find himself.

Of course, Persephone, Queen of the Dead, despises her husband Hades. Trapped in the Underworld with him, she longs for news of the living world. And so when Hercules, freshly dead, drops down before her, she won’t let him proceed to his final resting place on Mt. Olympus until Hercules tells both her and her husband his life story.

This is Odds Bodkin’s dramatic setting for the myth of Hercules, a storytelling work originally commissioned by The Art Institute of Chicago for an exhibition of Greek art.

Here’s a sample:

 

Hercules is reluctant to tell his story, because his life tallies just as many foul murders as glorious acts, but he tells it anyway, just to be able to leave. Does he give the full truth, or just his point of view? In places it’s hard to tell. Nevertheless, in his huge, deep voice, as Bodkin plays 12-string guitar, Hercules begins his story:

“My mother, Alcmene, loved my mortal father Amphitryon, but she would not have him in her bed until he’d avenged the deaths of her brothers, so while he was away, Zeus came to mother, disguised as Amphitryon, and fathered me. So who is my father? Zeus, yes. But I’ve never met him. Some father he is. No, it was Amphitryon who raised me…”

Thusly, the conversation between Hades, Persephone and Hercules unfolds. It’s about a man who cannot control his temper, a bad thing when you’re the strongest man in the world.

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Odds Bodkin won the prestigious Golden Headset Award for Best Audio when he released his epic Hercules recording into the storytelling world. Now you can watch him tell it, live and up close, as he Zooms the show from his studio in New Hampshire.

Tonight! Sunday, Oct. 18th at 5 pm EST. Join the crowd who have bought tickets. If after the show you have a question, Odds will answer it over ZOOM. It’s all live, sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. Kari Kuelzer, the owner, will MC the show and moderate questions.

Special thanks to Abigail Taylor, Katie LaBrie and Gavin Bodkin.

HERCULES IN HELL

TONIGHT, Oct 18 at 5 pm EST on ZOOM

Tickets: $15

Tomorrow Night, Masterful Adult Storytelling on ZOOM. The Greek Myth of Hercules

 

THE PROFESSOR’S OPINION

“Odds Bodkin has been thrilling our (college) students every Fall for years now with his live performances, and this year’s zoom performance of Iliad Book 1 was every bit as successful. We have gotten a good deal of feedback from the attendees, and it indicates that they were mesmerized, as usual.  Indeed, several students who had seen Odds perform in the past – and he has fans who come back every year – considered it even better. They loved the fact that they could see his face up close and watch his fingers dance across his guitar and harp.”

–Professor Joseph Walsh, Chair, Department of Classics at Loyola University Maryland after a Zoom appearance last month.

TOMORROW NIGHT, Sunday Oct. 18th at 5 pm Eastern Standard Time

Odds Bodkin goes to work.

Powerful, distinct character voices and 12-string guitar bring his hour-long tale to life.

No Hollywood sugar-coating, just a beautiful, epic Greek myth. Adventure. Tragedy. Humor. Love. Final transcendence.

 

HERCULES IN HELL

5 pm EST on Zoom

A $15 ticket on Eventbrite buys you a URL and password for the show.

Go BIG SCREEN for best viewing.

Hear a sample of the story:

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA

Telling HERCULES IN HELL to Inmates: A True Story

I’ll be performing HERCULES IN HELL tomorrow, Sunday Oct 18 on ZOOM at 5 pm. Meanwhile, here’s a story about this particular story.

Roy Stevens and I arrived at the prison in the late morning. In the warm Central Valley of California, the compound was little more than a group of low cinder block barracks painted yellow, surrounded by two layers of tall fencing topped by razor wire. At the administration building, the Warden met us as we were buzzed through the multiple gates. He told us that he and his wife would attend the performance along with about a hundred male inmates. The guards wore side-arms.

Frankly, I wasn’t worried about the warden’s opinion nearly as much as I was that if the inmates weren’t entertained by my story, one might shove me a shiv on my way out. I felt like Johnny Cash at Folsum Prison, only I wasn’t famous and singing about a Boy Named Sue. Instead, I was telling an hour-long Greek myth, of all things. Roy had set up this show during a tour. Doing his civic duty was part of his wheeling and dealing to get me out to California for a month of shows.

A group of inmates shuffled through a fenced corridor followed by a guard with a .45 in its holster.  All were White and Latino men. While Roy and I were setting up the PA system in the prison yard, it dawned on me that on my little flat stage, there would be nothing between me and the inmates during the show. No raised stage. No barriers.

This wasn’t a super-max, but all these guys were being held here for one unseemly reason or another.

The music will work on them, I remember saying to myself. Just get the music going.

As Roy set up the two big speakers and the PA, I broke out my 12-string guitar, tuning it in the hot sun. Inmates emerged from the barracks, slouching against the walls, staying in the shade. They were curious and skeptical. Politely rephrased, who on earth were we?

Roy Stevens, by the way, is a world-class opera singer, who is now the artistic director of Opera Modesto. We’d met at Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island a few years before, as across New York Harbor, the newly destroyed World Trade Center was belching smoke.

We’d become friends. We still are.

Just get the music going. The score for HERCULES IN HELL is in a modified e flat tuning, an at times brooding, at other times triumphant set of leitmotifs. So, with the PA on loud, I began warming up. No talk, just music. It boomed across the compound and the men started to listen. I could see from their body language that they liked it. After all, Hercules was a great criminal, a violent and injured man. This music conveys that. And an endless, hard journey. And a lot of sad beauty. Here’s a sample:

 

Well, in the end, the Warden and his wife showed up and the inmates fell under the bardic spell of Hercules’ deep voice. I told the story non-stop for 65 minutes, and then ended the tale. Nobody moved during the show. After the applause, which I couldn’t believe happened, the inmates lined up to get my autograph, which I couldn’t believe was happening either, and man after grizzled man told me how they’d never heard a story like this before, and that it meant a lot to them. Fifty, sixty of them, I recall. I used fifty or sixty very short #2 pencils. Someone had given each man a scrap of paper as well. For the guys who didn’t have paper, I noticed, other guys tore theirs in half.

Amazed at how grateful and civil the men were, I signed the last autograph, somewhat relieved that nobody had stabbed me with his pencil. After shaking hands with the Warden and his wife, Roy and I left.

HERCULES IN HELL: A story about a tough life with redemption at the end.

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HERCULES IN HELL

An Adult Storytelling by Odds Bodkin

Oct. 18, 2020 at 5pm EST on Zoom

Tickets: $15

If you don’t have Zoom, the download is free!

This Zoom concert is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

 

THE HERCULES CHRONICLES: Poisoned Arrows and a Great Mistake

During his second labor–slaying the Hydra–Hercules dips his arrows in the dead monster’s blood. His arrows become super-weapons. The slightest scratch means instant death.

Years later, he finds himself in the cave of Pholus, an old centaur. Although “never trust a centaur” is an adage Hercules usually follows, in Pholus’ case, Hercules decides to stay and dine. He asks for wine along with the meat.

“Oh, no, no, no!” Pholus shakes his head. “I’ve got it, but can’t open it.”

“Why not?” growls Hercules.

“The other centaurs. They’ll smell it. Go mad with the smell of wine. Come here. Kill you.”

“If they try that, they’ll regret it. Besides, they’ll never smell it. Open the wine, Pholus.” As usual, Hercules is traveling with his lion’s skin, his club and his arrows poisoned with Hydra blood.

Scared, Pholus opens the wine and soon the thunder of hoofs approaches the cave. Centaurs charge in and attack Hercules and Pholus cries, “No! Run you fools! It’s Hercules! He’ll kill you all! Run!”

But they’ve gone mad and Hercules reluctantly clubs many to death, and shoots others with his arrows. Astounded that arrows can kill a centaur instantly, Pholus picks one up.

“Don’t touch that, Pholus! It’s Hydra blood!”

Startled, the old centaur drops the arrow and it scratches his leg. He gives Hercules a look he can never forget and then crumples down and dies.

Hercules doesn’t yet know it, but in the end, the blood of the Hydra will kill him, too.


Join Odds Bodkin this coming Sunday, Oct. 18 at 5 pm EST and hear this episode, along with many others, from his award-winning telling, HERCULES IN HELL. The show is live and the storyteller will stay after the show to answer your questions. If you don’t have Zoom, the download is free.

Here’s an audio sample from the show:

HERCULES IN HELL

A ZOOM adult concert

Sunday, Oct. 18 at 5 pm EST

Tickets: $15 per screen

 

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.